[Feedback Request] Arcade Mode - Thoughts on long term balance


Green Slime
hey all,

i was wondering why the spectacles or in the later levels the blue, green, and red mage hat, and other MATK items can't (spectacles) be bought or just very rarely. In my opinion the range of possible MATK is too big, as one is completly dependend on item and card drops.
My worst case was 86 MATK versus the scarecrow boss on F5, i got totaly wrecked. Different run same boss with ~150+ MATK, no probs.
It also makes a huge difference if you fight winter on F12 with ~190 or ~240 MATK, especially if you count manaburn to it, then you have ~250 or ~320 MATK.
I get the sentiment, that if all items are available all the time, every run is the same. But what if key items like spectacles, bracelets, blue mage hat, etc, are priced at a premium or charge 1 or more HP potions for them?!


I would not worry about spectacles to much effectively they are the same or near as the headband in terms of Dps. As far as MATK Items if you really think about it the store carries mainly Armor or Armor HP items. Early on only devil horns are purchasable for Melee. All in all though it just adds to the run! The randomness of the items you acquire make each run unique in a way. But that's just my view =) it may be cool to have a premium style shop though but who knows!

The G-Meister

Giga Slime
There really does need to be some extra balancing going on. However, there's been a recent effort to include a bunch of extra mage-based gear in story mode. Sadly, Arcade mode is waiting to have some of that stuff balanced in the mode. I would agree though. There aren't many robes given out as room rewards early on, and there really needs to be a bit more consistency across the mode.


Green Slime
I would not worry about spectacles to much effectively they are the same or near as the headband in terms of Dps. As far as MATK Items if you really think about it the store carries mainly Armor or Armor HP items. Early on only devil horns are purchasable for Melee. All in all though it just adds to the run! The randomness of the items you acquire make each run unique in a way. But that's just my view =) it may be cool to have a premium style shop though but who knows!
well, i think one should even worry about spectacles. as i don't know how dmg is calculated from matk, the only feasible assumption i came up with is that 5% more crit chance is equal to 5% more matk. with that assumption in mind and the passive skills 'intelligence' and 'manaburn' at max level, spectacles give you higher matk for any base matk smaller than 300. furthermore, crit chance doesn't (AFAIK!) add to skills like swarm or frosty friend, which makes matk items very important, especially for builds with frosty.


That is part of the beauty of the current arcade. Because there is a wide range of items what you get affects what you will do and how you can handle certain situations. Getting one thing but not having another along with room variation can make almost all runs seem very different. Obviously after enough time you will have seen enough variations where it will seem the same but that is something you can't stop. It also helps that not every run can't be THE run. All the others help you for when you do get everything right and get all the gear you need. Facing hardships can make you realize that you've been looking at fighting something the wrong way and when you have more damage you can use that to make that fight even easier. It's fine and well to say you want all runs to be the best but that is in fact rather boring.

I've gotten to a point in arcade where to get a higher score i need to S every floor except 1-4 which one of those can be an A. That is very disheartening. I have to say I enjoyed my runs better when this was not looming over me and a mistake would ruin a run more than 30 mins in.

I ha a run where at the final floor i had EVERY mag damage up item and card and had gotten S on all other floors. I killed winter barely in my second damage pot. I took too much damage though. I had nearly died and i ended up with an A for the floor. I did not hi-score by 200k points because of this.

I'm not telling you to not progress. Grow your skill and break hi-scores but know that sometimes the end is not what you are looking for.


Green Slime
If you play arcade to be a high ranker or for a perfect game, it boils down to two things: The damage you receive, and your average floor clear time. The faster you are, the more damage you can take, and still get a floor S. You can clear rooms faster, the more dmg output you have. With that in mind, i find the difference between your possible min and max matk too big.
Don't get me wrong, i don't want the same run all the time, but at least the possibility to acquire some more matk items all the time. As it is now, the only item all the time available is the ruby rod, that's it for matk.

@tkld178, im 2 places behind you :p


Although it will hurt you early if you don't get matk but i don't think I've ever gotten where I never got matk items. Sure at a certain point it becomes foolish to continue but eventually they have to come up. Item pools are restricted to certain floors so as long as you can do challenges eventually you will get gear you need. Matk items you can get from shops are the crown, the charge robe, the attack robe ruby rod, and the blue hat. I might have missed some but those are ones you might see in the shops. The only ones that will have an impact on you are the ruby rod and the blue hat. The other ones can be outclassed by items you can find before or during the floors they become available.

There is almost no attack gear though. That is how they are "balanced" though. Instead of a lot of attack gear they get stronger weapons and higher level up increase along with extra defence and attack speed. Magic gets almost all their stats to compare from gear. In story it's easy to get gear you need for magic but that becomes less available in arcade. It is easy to say that the gear you get is based on luck but if you are skilled enough you can get plenty of chances for gear. If more gear was available for purchase than I think it would end more runs or just trivialize them. If it was through gold then you could literally buy anything you needed, if you are at a certain level you never really spend your gold. If it's though hp pots then missing a few no hit floors would ruin your run. Also because it's a shop there is also a chance that you don't get a shop when you need and it just kills your run from that.

The fact of the matter is there is no gear for melees after floor 8(except for the 2h axe) that is honestly worth it for them. A bit more defence but nothing that really improves their damage. Because mages need the item for damage though it creates this difference between the 2 in arcade. Despite this though I feel like mages can do better because they have a lot better skills that can deal with arcade better. The time they don't get carried they can still go far and the times they do they can overwhelm melee.

For what we have now I think giving mages more is not gonna help arcade.

Also not even ruby rod is even guaranteed to drop, I've had a run where it didn't drop or appear in a shop.


I agree with many of the ideas and suggestions from the double lengthy post on the previous page.

That said, I want to emphasize one suggestion that I found to be probably easier to implement in a balanced way as well as a good risk/reward option:

Having cards or maybe advanced gear (in advance of future floors) for the price of gold and/or health potions would be a great idea. I also think that shops are either too inconsistent or need to have some of the items available on more floors. I've actually gone through a run all the way without getting a ruby rod (gasp!) beating Winter.

I will also add some comments regarding balance:

I started arcade mode not knowing what would be effective or what to do with any of my points. My first instinct was put points in cloud + frosty friend and my passives in +perfect guard window (not kidding).

Then, I found the battletank guide and this slowly but surely got me to Winter, and allowed me to beat him! I think I did this only twice (I also died to Winter 1-2 times) before reading about and seeing a flamethrower/frosty friend run. Yikes!

So, I changed builds and after a bit of practice (maybe like 20 failed runs due to dying early or being crappy) I easily made it back to floors 9+. It didn't take long for me to get to and kill winter, and I've now done it probably 8 times with this build (haven't died TO him yet, even when I take like 800 dmg because I have so many potions saved up from the first 8 floors). This build is just so much easier than the battletank (or any other that I'm aware of) and I got half of my difficult achievements with it (S rank on floors 5-8 and getting close to doing so on floors 9-10).

I also think challenge rooms don't give enough points (less than S clear in normal room) and of course more variety for these would be nice, especially on the lower floors. There could be "challenge" rooms and then harder challenge rooms that are either more rare or require some kind of sacrifice (cost of potion or health for guaranteed card + item if successfully completed) or something.

I will also add that I've noticed issues with exp differentials as well. Sometimes I have frosty friend before floor 5 and sometimes I don't. I've had several runs now where I did not level before the first boss, as others have mentioned.

Marino feels way more luck-based than is fair. The blizzard should be toned down (even if only a tiny bit) in my opinion, especially since you can't practice this fight anywhere else! I still don't even understand his attack patterns because i spend most of the fight avoiding the blizzard while my frosty friend beats on him. This is kind of silly imo.

edit: Also, laughably for my skill level I've been killed by an elite boar on floor 3 several times now! He 2-hits players who don't have boosted health or maybe huge defense at that point. I remember just looking at the screen dumb-founded at what happened because the enemy is so rare that I have no experience against the charging or attack speed. It's like an elite brawler bot on steroids lol


More complaints about the (im)balance of blizzards on floors 9-10, not JUST Marino.

I've had several rooms where I killed most of the enemies very quickly (flamethrower) but had to wait an additional 15 (!) seconds to even be able to access the other enemies (ex/ presents). You might think that this is balanced by holding onto a few arrows JUST for this purpose, but you'd be wrong. The thing is, that often enough these rooms also have the frozen spikes, which has made it IMPOSSIBLE to reach the enemies. I've even had my snow summon get stuck on the spike trying to reach the enemies but not luck.

I think 1 of maybe 3 things would help balance this out, some of which still gives a nice -risk-reward aspect:

1) Decrease duration of blizzards
2) Decrease frequency of blizzards
3) Decrease width of blizzards.

I think 3 is the most interesting, if you allow the blizzards to be thin enough to allow a tiny bit of room for players in between. I've seen some rooms that do this and others that don't. It would be nice if it was more consistent. alternatively, you could also change which enemies will spawn in such rooms, though that won't really help with the Marino fight *shudder*

The G-Meister

Giga Slime
I personally think there's a better idea. When fighting Winter, his first wave of winds gets cheeky. The last part before he does the ice maze, the wind is normally on the top. The winds then get confused and do a quick blast in the middle (the wind is like less than half a screen long) and then afterwards a quick blast at the bottom.

I think that quick gust would be much more interesting, as rather than it blocking off an enemy from you, it just forces you to switch position and get out the way, only interrupting your barrage.
A few perks from the bishop could be added, such as an increased chance of getting rare items, or only get equipment that suits your class (determined by the weapon you have equipped) and a perk that slightly increases exp. I also wouldn't mind being able to stack a perk for boosted effect.

As for enemies, my biggest problem is the rabbys and their ability to rapidly attack. This happens to me all the time: I'm in the forest, cutting down a bloomos, when a rabby attacks, so I step back to avoid it, and quickly turn to block the boar about to gore me. At this point, anything but the rabby would let me live, but it immediately strikes again, rendering me defenceless against the boar, which ends my life. All I ask is a lowered attack rate.

The bats also really need a nerf, the problem being that if you have your shield raised when they strike, you're stuck until they break your guard and deal 100 damage in dozens of threes and fours.

The last issue I have is the red slime quest. It's two fast, it hits to hard, and the goop is everywhere and inescapable. The giant should be A: moved up several floors so we can level some more B: nerfed like no tomorrow, or C: Both.


Green Slime
I don't have anything new to add here per se, but I want to lend my support to suggestions i agree with.

I think it's a fabulous idea to allow the player to adjust the difficulty to their liking. This is what perks are for, right? I would like to see more and greater forms of them. Also, all perks so far are beneficial, yes? It would be cool to have some perks be detrimental for those who like the challenge. Like enemies not flinching, EP not recharging in between rooms, taking double damage, and things like that. For this, it would be nice if essence was a little easier to get.

Also, instead of having rooms with just one chest, they could spawn 2-3 random items and say choose one. This would slightly help players get the items they want while still keeping the random factor. It would cause gear builds to get more "stale", but as the total variety of items increases, it will dilute the pool of choices, making that less of a problem. Also, I don't know how it currently works in multiplayer as I've not tried, but It'd be awesome if each person got to choose one, and just not allow trading.
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Green Slime
I play arcade solo, with my wife, and sometimes also with my 6yr old son. So these suggestions are trying to take into consideration all the ways we play. Also, this is a LOT of suggestions.. pretty much every change I would make to arcade (regarding difficulty) if I had full control of the game's development. I wouldn't expect any of them to make it, let alone all of them.. just figured I'd list my dream changes. :)

1. Scale the nurse health cost. Each point's cost could be like cost = currentHP/maxHP * base_cost. With a 100 hp pool, going from 1 to 10 would be cheap but going from 90 to 100 would be quite costly.

2. Add a difficulty option per player. I'd simply increase/decrease the damage the player takes or increase/decrease their starting health. I'd also change the score gain based on difficulty chosen. This could even be added in the form of an inexpensive perk assuming the increase/decreases mentioned were significant as well as whatever the penalty/bonus would be.

3. Probably a replacement of option #1: Increase the sell price for all equippable items by about 100%. If you find equipment that doesn't match your build, it'd be nice if selling it aided respeccing or buying different gear more than it does presently.

4. For what is often not helpful from challenges, I'd add a touch more time on all challenges but the "kill in order" (it could be reduced even, at least the early level ones). I'd also lengthen the "don't get hit" challenges a bit based on the number of players, but make the challenge a little less populated with entities (monsters/obstacles/etc) depending on the player count.

5. Some way to start farther up the mountain and possibly at a higher level. An example: a one time essence cost to have the robed figure lead you past an area for the next run. The price could scale and could only be to reach areas you've already reached previously. Might need to increase essence drop rates so players still afford perks/perk slots though.

PS: With some more work on arcade mode (and I don't mean much), it'd be a pretty solid game all on its own. Right now, it feels a bit like an extra feature instead, albeit a very cool one.
I’d like to see a form of checkpoints. I was thinking that if you get an S rank on a floor and on every floor below, you could start there with a bit of a starter kit. This lets you stay in a challenging area without going through the mountains and forests every time you die. In exchange you don’t get score from the areas you skipped, so it evens out


I’d like to see a form of checkpoints. I was thinking that if you get an S rank on a floor and on every floor below, you could start there with a bit of a starter kit. This lets you stay in a challenging area without going through the mountains and forests every time you die. In exchange you don’t get score from the areas you skipped, so it evens out
^ this

Some people don't really care about score, but want to experience whole Arcade Mode. Starting again every time is tedious af. Maybe when you get S-rank on a floor, it would record your equipment/skills, so you start with the same character there? (optionally ofc)

I can get up to floor 6, but 80% of the runs end before that and only 70% of runs are without some random damage taken on first floors.
I recently made it to 2 catalysts and faced an issue where on that difficulty my shadowclone+reaper mark+spirit slash build was hard-countered by Winter (the boss, not the location) on account of dealing little to no damage to his ludicrously inflated on that difficulty HP as he teleports all over the place and locks me into ice playpens that are sometimes quite literally impossible to avoid damage in on account of him sending artillery barrages of snowballs into those playpens that I have no space to dodge. After asking around a bit I was informed that chaining reaper marks with shadowcloned basic attacks (something that got me through Hard story mode, including storymode Winter, and previous 2 catalyst difficulties) is actually not a viable form of damage at that difficulty anymore.

Now, I will assume that his massive damage sponge HP pool and attack intensity are the intended design, that at that difficulty he is meant to be beaten only by the top shelf players with fine-tuned meta builds, so I won't be asking for any nerfs (unless I am mistaken about your intentions, then please, by all means, save me from this torment, I loved my reaper mark and shadowclones and hate to ditch them). What I will ask for, however, is some form of tutorialization that conveys to the player that there are certain mandatory thresholds a build must cross in order to meet the criteria of viability. Something that will tell the player that every build should have this and that in its kit, like a high damage tagged skill and a mobility tagged skill, for example. The story mode had a similar problem with the hard mode Furious Giga Slime and its requirements for a mobility skill in order to make it through the fight. It can be quite tough to trial and error for a meta build when the run circumstances differ so drastically and the balance is... well nowhere near all of the skills were created equal, it would appear.

I'm not sure if this thread is still checked for Arcade feedback, but since it's still stickied I'll assume it is.

Unrelated, but I would also like to ask for a buff to the fishing perk in Arcade. It's an entire perk slot I have to give up, and it still doesn't make fish ponds anywhere near common.
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Having reached that dreaded moment where I'm one single challenge short of 100%ing arcade trophies and keep rerunning over and over because it never spawns, I've got an idea.

Would you consider a suggestion to give the "Time Warp" perk an additional effect of making uncompleted challenges more likely to spawn? Or, alternatively, if you are averse to making multipurpose perks, introduce a new perk with that exact functionality?